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Pre-University Tests

For courses at some universities (for example Oxford or Cambridge), some law degrees & most medical or dental degrees, you may need to take a test or tests as part of your application – check the university websites for individual courses. You will need to register separately for any tests, usually by a set date in October and can normally sit them at your school or college, or at a centre near your home. Pre-Oxford and Cambridge tests are taken at the university either before or during the interview.

It is very important to make arrangements in good time, as your application may not be as competitive - or may not be considered at all - if you do not take any test or tests required for your course.

Pre-Oxford Tests

The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) is a 2 hour pre-interview test, used to assess candidates applying for the following courses at The University of Oxford:

  • Economics and Management
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Geography
  • Human Sciences
  • Philosophy and Linguistics
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)
  • Psychology and Linguistics
  • Psychology and Philosophy

The test is made up of a 90 minute TSA which includes problem solving skills (numerical and spatial reasoning) and critical thinking skills (including understanding argument and reasoning using everyday language) and a 30 minute written essay from a choice of questions.

All Oxford's other admissions tests are organised by the Admissions Testing Service. The registration deadline is usually mid-October. The tests take place in early November.

Pre-Cambridge Tests

The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) has been used by the University of Cambridge for many years to assess potential applicants, alongside ‘A’ levels results and a formal interview. The test is taken at the university during the interview and involves 50 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes. It includes problem solving skills (numerical and spatial reasoning) and critical thinking skills (including understanding argument and reasoning using everyday language).

For all other pre-Cambridge tests see the University of Cambridge website or the Admissions Testing Service website.

LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test)

If you are applying to study Law, you may be required to take the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) by a specific date in October. LNAT results are sent to the University automatically.

BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test)

If you have applied for Medicine or Biomedical Sciences at certain universities you will need to register to take the BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test), your application will not receive any further consideration if you have applied for the BMAT.

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an admissions test for applicants to Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Science and Dentistry courses at certain universities.
As well as being an entry requirement, BMAT gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd and show your potential to succeed on a demanding science-based university course.

It does not require a lot of extra study as it is a test of skills and knowledge that learners are expected to already have.

The dates of the BMAT test cycle are designed to fit in with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) cycle for medicine and veterinary applications

UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test)

For medical and dental degrees. The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK University Medical and Dental Schools.

The test helps universities to make a more informed choice from amongst applicants who apply for their medical and dental degree programmes. It focuses on exploring the cognitive powers of candidates and other attributes considered to be valuable for health care professionals.

Check whether you are required to take the test with the universities that you are applying for. Some universities have a different criteria for overseas students.

You can only take the test once in a year so if you are unsuccessful you will need to leave it until the following year to take it again.

There are various test centres located all over the world. Please see the UKCAT website for locations and dates of tests. 

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